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The Illinois Deprtment of Public Health says as temps rise, so do numbers of encounters with rabid animals

photo of a bat
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With warmer weather, the chances of an encounter with a rabid bat, increase.

Warm weather means more time spent outside. And the IDPH is reminding people to be alert for bats and other animals with rabies. Connie Austin, Illinois State Public Health Veterinarian says, be alert for animals acting strange.

"Wild animals that approach you, that's an abnormal wild animal. If one lets you pick it up, that's not normal. Some animals get very tired and lethargic, they don't want to move around. Some become aggressive, or they have neurologic signs, like trouble walking, circling or seizuring."

Austin says if you encounter an animal acting abnormally, do not attempt to touch it, and call your local animal control. And she says it's very important to keep bats out of your house and attic, by plugging up holes and any openings in your home. So far, the IDPH has confirmed six rabid bats statewide, including one in Jackson county.

Born in Newport, Rhode Island to a military family, Kevin Boucher traveled the country and the world at a young age before his family settled in Murphysboro, Illinois in 1976. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Radio-Television at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale and worked in commercial radio before becoming the Traffic Manager at WSIU Public Television. Boucher has since earned a Master's degree in Professional Media & Media Management Studies from SIU's College of Mass Communication & Media Arts. He is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys gardening and exploring the flora and fauna of the Shawnee National Forest and other beautiful natural areas across southern Illinois. Kevin is embarking on a new path with WSIU as the Community Engagement Producer for WSIU Radio. Look for Kevin's work on air and on line.
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